2021 Mid-Year Letter
2021 MID-YEAR LETTER
HITTING OUR STRIDE
AT THE TWO-YEAR MARK
OF INTENTIONALLY GOOD

Building off of the energy of Q2, we’re uncovering hidden value in our network to accelerate our impact in Q3.

At Goodie Nation, we believe the power of communities and the relationships that live within them have the ability to create a better and more sustainable future for us all. 

We can all agree it has been a tough 18 months. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact all over the world. In addition to the loss of life, 71 million people were pushed into extreme poverty, and school closures reversed years of progress as at least 500 million of students didn’t have access to remote learning. In the United States of America, communities of color were devastated by job loss among many other factors. 

But there’s hope. Entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to solve these problems because they are used to leveraging relationships rooted in trust. Social entrepreneurs focusing on health, education, financial inclusion, sustainability, and have the opportunity to usher in the next wave of products that will improve outcomes and lives for billions of people around the world. Diverse founders (Black, Latinx, women, etc.) have the opportunity to create companies that will employ millions of people. 

However when it comes to supporting founders, the overwhelming majority of discussions center around the lack of financial capital available to them. We’ve observed that the lack of financial capital is actually a subset of the lack of strong, trusted communities, or should we say, networks – specifically those influenced by employees of top companies and graduates from top colleges. We’ve built our program on this premise because we understand that no entrepreneur can succeed without a strong network of support. 

That’s why we are proud that our Intentionally Good program just completed its second year.

Intentionally Good is a relationship and growth program that rallies support from tech, business, and social impact communities across the country to help high-potential tech social entrepreneurs and diverse founders. Launched in the summer of 2019 with a $100,000 Tech Done Right grant from Kapor Center, Intentionally Good creates an ecosystem through professional development, warm introductions, and mental health sessions to increase their competitiveness for customers and capital.  

But this letter is about what happened in Q2 and what we’re doing in Q3.

 

We imagined the world we wanted to see and took substantial steps to make it happen in Q2...

We added program elements and built internal tools to increase the opportunities for connections within the Intentionally Good community, creating deep relationships across geography and industry verticals: 

  • Hosted 85 accountability sessions to ensure founders are making progress and assess where they need help – both professionally and personally.
  • Provided 30 hours of “Founder’s Therapy” as we doubled-down on our promise to help develop the founders as humans  
  • Facilitated 400 warm introductions to coaches, customers, and capital providers.
  • Launched Verticals, a monthly meetup where founders and experts discuss industry news, trends, opportunities, etc. We focused on those in the workplace (HR, Future of Work, DEI, etc.), Fintech, entertainment, and health verticals. 
  • Started the Why Relationships Matter podcast with 6 video and audio episodes to highlight the origin stories and impact of the founders, experts, and partners in our network.

All in all, this helped 60 percent of our program founders reach their Q2 milestones – resulting in $5M in revenue and $12M in funding. More importantly, they are on a pathway to becoming long-term sustainable businesses. 

We extended or established creative collaborations with awesome brands committed to making an impact in Q2…

Many incredible organizations have joined us on our journey, and all have been action-based and highly creative in working together:

Verizon: We partnered with the leading wireless network operator on a MarCom Mini-Accelerator to equip 10 Goodie Nation founders with one-on-one strategic counsel from Verizon corporate marketing and communications experts during the month of May.

Google: We participated in the Google Arts & Culture campaign to celebrate Atlanta on its platform and app by authoring an introduction to the key players in the city’s thriving startup scene.

Google For Startups: Google For Startups recently announced they are partnering with us for the second year in a row on the Black Founders Fund

AARP Innovation Labs: We worked with the leading organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 or older to choose how they live as they age on Cultivate: Hack The Wealth Gap, an initiative to support eight BIPOC-led tech startups working to reduce wealth inequality in the U.S.

Venture Atlanta, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Georgia Power, and Invest Atlanta: We partnered on the Creating Momentum initiative to identify the top diverse tech startup founders from Washington, D.C., to Texas, and provide tips to increase the likelihood of selection for investment, accelerators, and pitch showcases. 

SAP: Via PYXERA Global, we partnered with SAP for the Pro Bono for Economic Equity program in which 8 of the 12 founders selected for the program came from Goodie Nation. SAP offered the skills, talent, and expertise of its employees at no cost, virtually, over the course of six weeks to help with streamlining operations, the transition of operations or services virtually, expanding their business, and more.

Deloitte: We worked with the consulting giant on the pilot of a 3 month pro bono support initiative for a Goodie Nation founder.

We are intentionally accelerating our impact in Q3.

With a more scalable and repeatable process in place, we project adding an additional 150 founders from across the country in the third quarter, bringing the total to approximately 300 program participants. The increase in both the number of quality founders as well as the expansion of the geographic footprint is expected to accelerate the collective impact of the community. We are always looking to make intentional introductions within industry verticals.

  • Founders are currently in 16 states including New York, D.C., Florida, and Texas in addition to our home base of Georgia, and we expect to be in 20 states by the end of the quarter.
  • Approximately 50 percent of our founders are in the workplace, health, Fintech, education, social and entertainment (music, media, sports, etc.) spaces, and we expect that number to increase 70 percent in Q3.
  • Roughly 60 percent of the new founders started their companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, and thus represent the next generation of social entrepreneurs and diverse founders.

We’ll continue to build our robust expert community with 50 percent more tech professionals, innovators, and super connectors. This will help us double the amount of introductions made in Q3. 

  • Our focus will center on investors, HR leaders, B2B sales professionals, go-to-market strategists, software developers, product managers, content creators, and founders that have raised Series A and B rounds.

To facilitate this growth, we’re super excited to announce that we’ve expanded our internal team, adding key talent to lead operations and management, programming, marketing and communications. This brings the total number of team members to 11.

With a grant from Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, we made our first full-time hire; former Googler Paris Proctor joins the team as our first Chief Operating Officer. She brings non-profit, education, fundraising, and partner management expertise at a crucial point in Goodie Nation’s growth curve.

Every Seed and Series A stage founder now receives a dedicated point of contact, and several experienced startup operators and mentors have stepped into roles with us. CV Sudarshan works with Seed Stage+/Series A founders, Hadeel A-Tashi leads a weekly accountability group huddle for social impact founders, and Daryl Holman Jr., founder of Fintech startup Revival, is our new Entrepreneur-In-Residence, and will facilitate a weekly accountability group huddle for financial inclusion founders. Aspiring venture capitalist, Kevin Williams, is our new Research Associate, and discovers potential new founders to join our program as well as opportunities such as accelerators, grants, etc. for our existing founders.

We’ve also created a small, dedicated team to tell the story of our work. Recent Atlanta transplant, Katie Mullins, steps in as the interim Chief Marketing Officer, implementing an innovative framework to support an integrated communications strategy. Dylan Harper, coming from Atlanta CEO Council, becomes our Marketing Manager focusing on day-to-day execution of the strategy across social media, email, and our website. To round out the team, the amazingly talented Jessica Lopez will usher in the next generation of Goodie Nation’s brand through creative direction.

We are intentional about what’s next as we uncover hidden value in our network...

Techstars Foundation Accelerate Equity program: We’ve been selected to receive support from the Techstars Foundation in Q3. The Techstars Foundation will add a five percent match to the total raised at the end of the quarter. The goals of the Accelerate Equity program are to extend access to the Techstars network, encourage financial support, and provide entrepreneurship education and events to nonprofit entrepreneurial support organizations focused on underestimated communities. 

Acuity: We were selected by the bookkeeping firm for their Acuity Cares program where we’ll receive pro bono support in accounting, tax, and more. Such counsel will help us create an even better foundation as we grow.

Google For Startups Black Founders Fund II: Recipients for the fund’s second fund will be announced soon.

And we are extremely excited to announce the evolution of the Intentionally Good program with the launch of Society of the Good: Society of the Good is an exclusive six-month donation and volunteering group for tech professionals who want to participate in closing the Relationship Gap for social entrepreneurs, diverse founders, and students underrepresented in tech. By building the other side of our community with experts from top companies and schools, we’ll substantially increase the amount of value delivered to our program participants.

In Q2, we discovered that building relationships for diverse students is a diversity, equity, and inclusion tool. So the framework we use for supporting founders can also be used to drive diverse students into tech. That’s why we’re even more excited with our first corporate partner for Society of the Good, Dell Technologies, as we launch a special initiative for students at Clark-Atlanta University this Fall.

We are thankful…

We imagine a world where an entrepreneur, no matter their background nor location, gets access to the resources they need to reach their full potential. This doesn’t need to be complicated or costly, but it does have to be intentional. We know that our future collaborations and partnerships will continue to demonstrate new levels of creativity and greater depth of impact.

As we look at the Relationship Gap as a solvable problem where everyone has a role to play, we want to thank all of our partnerships, founders and friends for their collective support. We appreciate you. We need you. We’re so glad you are here.

We anticipate continued momentum throughout the remainder of 2021 as we work together to pay it forward for the good of our nation. 

This is the end of the beginning. Let’s be intentional about building strong relationships based on trust. 

 

On a mission to do tech right,

 

Joey Womack 

Founder/CEO, Goodie Nation

Be IntentionalTake Action

Join our mailing list to stay informed on ways you can support our efforts to help promising diverse founders and social entrepreneurs.